I would have never guessed she grew up in a cult. I “met” Anna online when she was the publisher’s leader of one of my most recent book launches. In fact, I realized we had been on other book launches together! She is so fun and full of passion, especially when it comes to reading and launching books she believes in. (She even called herself the “cat header”, lol) When she friended me on Facebook, I was excited to find out that she had written her own book, but I was shocked to discover what it was about. I was very curious and brought it soon after. I was amazed when I finished it, amazed by all that this woman has overcome. Much of her story is shocking and unsettling, especially for those of us that haven’t grown up in a polygamist culture or in extreme poverty. Being this vulnerable about her broken and difficult past wasn’t easy, but God has used it for His glory. I am so grateful I found this book and for Anna’s courage in sharing her story. I hope that anyone that reads this book will be inspired to let God use the broken pasts of your past for His glory ~ Bethel
Many people with broken or difficult pasts struggle to share their story. Especially when you are still in the process of healing from your brokenness, most of us would tend to suppress memories of our past trials. This tends to lead to a feeling of isolation and can often hinder the healing process. Therefore, it takes great courage to write a book that shares your life story when you have brokenness in your past. In fact, after reading this book, I’ve come to realize that writing a autobiography or memoir is one of the most courageous and vulnerable things any writer can do.
In Anna LeBaron’s memoir, The Polygamist’s Daughter, we meet one of over 50 children of the infamous Ervil Lebaron, the murderous leader of a Mormon fundamentalist group with 13 wives. Anna and her siblings grew up in the worst of condition, as their family was extremely poor and constantly on the run from law enforcement due to her father’s illegal activities. She was often separated from her mother and mistreated by her father’s other wives (sister-wives). They all believed that Ervil was a prophet of God and they have to do whatever he told them. As a result, they all suffered at his hands. When her father was arrested and eventually died in prison, the oppression from the cult did not stop. They living conditions did not improve and many of her siblings and the sister-wives were forced to work for slave wages or no wages. When Anna’s mother and some of her siblings moved away from the cult’s leader, things finally started to turn around for their family. They had some money to provide for basic needs and things were going well for them. But when the cult’s leader convinced Anna’s mom to move back, Anna knew that she could not go with them. She ran away when she was 13, moving in with her half-sister Lillian, her husband Mark, and their six children. After being enrolled in a Christian school, Anna (as well as Mark and Lillian) can to know Christ and they lived changed for the better. But this doesn’t mean that their troubles from the cult were over. After several years past, some of the people that escaped the cult were murdered at the exact same time, Anna’s life was once again turned upside down. Several years later, after 5 children and a marriage that she through twice, Anna found healing throughout that time through the help of counseling, and was finally able to break down the walls of defenses she had built up to survive during her childhood in the cult. And seeing where she ends up is probably the best part of all.
This incredible woman should be an inspiration to all of us. I am personally in awe of the raw honesty in her story and as her courage in being willing to share it with her readers. Through many trials, she has overcome is now a strong woman in Christ. My heart grieved for what she went through, but also rejoiced to see all that she overcame. You will be moved, challenged and inspired by this powerful story if you read it. I highly recommend this book to anyone about 13 or older (due to moderate references to violent events and mild sexual content). Get your copy today!
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
Lion Eyes Reviews
Author Bethel Grove
Simple Youth Ministry
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